Sunday, September 28, 2008

Greenhouse - Poinsettia Problems I: Poor and Uneven Branching

This is the first in a series on poinsettia problems taken from a posting from the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory.

Poor and Uneven Branching

Poor branching is a disorder that results in uneven lateral shoot breaking (top breaks are larger and stronger than bottom breaks) or lack of breaks on branched plants. Often growers wait too long to pinch their plants resulting in poor and uneven branching. In such instances, plants become tall and lateral shoots emerge before pinch and break unevenly after pinch. For most cultivars, 14 days is the maximum recommended time from planting to pinching. Certain cultivars are more susceptible to disorder and a reduction in time to pinch will minimize irregular branching. In addition, production temperatures >75 °F during growth can cause blind shoots, or reduced branching. Uniform poinsettia branching can be achieved with proper plant spacing, pinch timing and technique, and temperature management.

Poor branching on poinsettia.

Information and photo from Poinsettia Production Problems and Disorders by Roberto G. Lopez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Floriculture Extension Specialist, Purdue University in the September 15 edition of the Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory Picture of the Week.

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